22 February, 2013
Better care for Bay of Plenty cancer patients
Health Minister Tony Ryall today met the two new dedicated cancer nurses who will be supporting Bay of Plenty cancer patients and their families.
“Carolyn Gent and Lorraine Hammersley, who start their new role at Bay of Plenty District Health Board (DHB) on Monday, are among the 40 dedicated cancer nurses who are expected to be working in public hospitals throughout the country by the end of May,” says Mr Ryall.
“These specialist nurses will act as a single point of contact so patients and their families no longer have to deal with multiple people from different parts of the health service.
“Carolyn and Lorraine will work across both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals. One nurse will focus on patients diagnosed with lung cancer while the other will cover patients diagnosed with less common cancers.
“The Government is investing $4 million a year to ensure every DHB has at least one full time dedicated cancer nurse, as part of its commitment to provide better and faster cancer services,” says Mr Ryall.
“Nursing has warmly welcomed this new role, which will vastly improve the treatment experience for patients by reducing delays, stress and duplication.
A national clinical nurse lead will be appointed later this month to support the cancer nurses and promote service improvements.
The funding of cancer nurse coordinators was announced in Budget 2012 as part of a $33 million funding package aimed at further improving cancer services.